Korea to Host UN
Info-Tech Center in Songdo

President Roh addresses elimination of digital divide

President Roh Moo-hyun said his government plans to set up the Asian and Pacific Training Center for Information and Communication for Development (APCICT), an international info-tech training center, managed by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and Pacific (ESCAP), designed to train ICT policymakers and engineers on information, in Songdo, Incheon.
The Ministry of Information and Communication said the government and the Incheon Metropolitan Government will invest $10 million over the next five years to establish the info-tech training center as part of an international effort to tide over disparity in technology development and support e-government projects. It is the first time Korea has succeeded in hosting the head office of a U.N.-affiliated agency, and only the second time to attract global organizations, following the headquarters of the International Vaccine Institute (IVI).
President Roh also said during an opening ceremony of Seoul Digital Forum 2005 and World ICT Summit the government would no long tolerate the digital divide and an infringement of personal information and it would make efforts to realize a digital welfare society in which all people share and have access to digital information.
" With more than two-thirds of Korean citizens are using the Internet, and Korea is unrivaled in broadband Internet subscriptions. Memory chips, CDMA cell phones and other diverse IT products from Korea are leaders in the world market. For the first time in the world, hand-held Internet technology, WiBro, has been developed as a result of extensive development of core technologies and not too long ago, we opened the age of DMB? Roh said.
"Rapid progress has been made in establishing an e-government to enhance efficiency and transparency. Cheong Wa Dae, where I do my job, has been completely transformed into a digital-friendly environment. The presidential staff and I are engaged in unreserved discussions online, and all reports and records are managed digitally. This does not simply eliminate paper, but changes the working method altogether" Roh went on to say.
"The Republic of Korea is recognized around the world as a dynamically developing information and communication powerhouse. However, there will be continual challenges. Korea's pursuit will gather speed on the strength of the high motivation for achievement, the state-of-the art IT infrastructure and the broad base of consumers continually searching for the latest novelty. Preparations have already been made for the age of ubiquitous computing, a theme of this meeting? the president said.
Many prominent experts, including former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, gathered for a three-day run at the Seoul Digital Forum and World ICT Forum on May 18 at the Shilla Hotel in Seoul. The speakers included futurist John E. Davies, the author of" Mega-trend" Irwin M. Jacob, CEO of Qualcomm, John P. Giere, chief marketing officer at Lucent Technologies. Gore delivered a keynote speech, titled with "Ubiquitous: Charting a New Digital Society"
Meanwhile, Yoon Chang-bun, CEO-president of hanaro telecom, maintained during his speech that the government should relax the regulations on telecom operators' entry into the broadcasting market for the development of IT convergence industries.
Yoon cited steps designed to spur advancement of IT convergence industries as information convergence, subscribers' demands, changes in mobile and wired environment and changes in regulatory environment.
He suggested that convergence industries will evolve at a rapid pace if the regulatory environment changes and huddles are removed. Broadcasting and communication have already increasingly been converged, and as cable TV businesses offer VoIP services, communication companies should be allowed to enter the broadcasting market.

KT President Lee Yong-kyung speaks during an opening ceremony of Seoul Digital Forum 2005 and World ICT Summit.

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